The other day when I wrote about my evening with the Top Guns from the Thunderbirds at “The Purple Pig” in Chicago I didn’t really want to write about my career in the Swedish Air Force = Svenska Flygvapnet.
“Voluntary Defence, Association of Swedish “Lotta” troops (SLK),” Lotta Kåren”, is a voluntary defense for women. The organization currently consists of about 18 000 women across the country from 15 years upwards. Lotta movement’s purpose is to recruit and train women to tasks in the Armed Forces and to conduct total defense information. “Lottorna” operates in twelve different military services in all branches of service – Army with the Home Guard, Navy and Air Force. The organization is non-political and is one of the largest women’s networks. It was founded in 1926.” – text; se.wikipedia.org
Joined them in 1986 – mostly because I wanted to do something different as a hobby and I have always fancy men in air pilots uniforms. I belong to F7, Såtenäs Air Squadron. F7 is the squadron where all new aircrafts are being tested and also all training for our JAS39- “Gripen” happens there. They have 44 of them in their garage.
The Swedish Air Force – Svenska Flygvapnet – is over 80 years old and in the 1920 the 4th biggest air force in the world – because Sweden is a natural country we are only allowed defense We also design our own aircrafts and very successfully so too – it’s “SAAB” that developed and designed our aircrafts for 75 years. JAS39 is a big success on the international market, they just signed orders with South Africa and India. The last model of JAS has 40 computors aboard. It’s also the most cost-effective aircraft in its category in the world and it’s multi-tasked, 4 in one. It can be yours for a couple of millions = €25/$31.5/£20. Click on “SAAB” and you can see for yourself what it’s all about.
If you want to watch the videos – turn of the music on the media player down in the end of the post.
Working at sea my friends thought I would have gone for the Navy – but no that never tickled me at all. There was enough of water around me as it was. Plus there is something very sexy about men in the air force, in the air and on the ground. A woman need her eye-candy too. Have seen “Top Gun” too many times.
Got a fantastic education/training and today I have the rank of corporal and in case of war is it me that decides or guesses witch flights are friendly (our own) or is the enemy. During our war-games I have caused some disasters – our own helicopters have been shot down and I have let the enemy fly too fare and of course they bombed OUR military targets. It’s a while since I did any war-games – haven’t been active during the years aboard – time to get back in the game. Just love my defense duties and I miss the handsome men in uniforms or overalls.
All training we got during the summers – it was really tough training with outdoors maneuvers and shooting practice with machine gun. Shooting wasn’t the hard bit – it was cleaning the guns afterwards, it took hours before our officers where pleased with it. Hate it.
The outdoor maneuvers were great fun …. raising the big tents – have fire watch – cooking food with nearly no equipment at all – the mad exercises (just like real soldiers have to do). 5 male officers had to keep 30 girls in line – and sometimes it went out of hand, but we had fun and I never laugh that much. Hilarious!!! I was the oldest all the time of us “soldiers” and of course I had to be the young girls “mum” at times. Especially when they fancied some of the young officers – what a carry on – and they wanted advice how to get theirs attention.
This with getting the gas mask on in less than 60 seconds was another thing I hated dearly – I don’t think I ever manage or maybe once, otherwise I wouldn’t become a corporal. However I manage that – when I got my wings they told me that I’m so great on keeping the moral up on everybody around me and that I’m an asset in crisis situations. I suppose war is a crisis situation!The last maneuver I was on – the alarm went (enemy coming) in the middle of the night and we had to rush to our stations – my group’s station was in sandy bunker, 3 of us girls in each bunker – and it was so dark and in the dark it looks like everything is moving – every bush is an enemy. Somehow I had landed a bit future ahead than the other girls and when they start shooting – one of them hit my ass and god that hurt. Even if was blanks it hurt and I was just about 50cm/20” in front of them. So the war was called off because I had been shot. What a show it was – I was laughing and crying on the same time – my helmt fell off and it rolled down the hill.
After the maneuver our captain said that the only one that had worked her ass of during the 3 days; ME. I couldn’t sit properly for a couple of days, it was not only one blank, more like 10-12 that had hit me – Maybe they felt sorry for me and gave me my rank as compensation for all the pain and suffering. All for King and Country. You see I’m not just a pretty face, with me on the watch Sweden can sleep safe and sound.
We work hard and we play hard in the Swedish Air Force as you can see here.
I never met my pilot …. I never became anyone’s wing-mate, but I have a pair of wings somewhere in a draw. Have been looking for days, but don’t have a clue where I put them. My uniforms hasn’t fit for years, but I think I’m ready for war-games again. Have to call them and inform them that Corporal Gustavson is ready for battle.
Photos provided by and thanks to;